Learning to Speak

As I was visiting my aunt in the city, she brought me to the school where she works. Her school teaches Arabic, Spanish, and English for kindergarten through sixth grade. Of course in the city they have a lot more diverse languages, but what about the smaller towns? At my school, we have a very small selection of languages to learn, mainly just Spanish.

There are schools that teach not just Spanish but French, German, or Arabic and they start at young ages too! So why not give that opportunity to more students? The world is becoming more diverse and schools should start teaching more languages to kids in elementary and high school. According to the website Redlines, there are about 381 languages being spoken in the United States. An article written onIlanguages says that 40% of the world’s population, only speaks one language. How are we supposed to help others and make the world a better place if we can’t even communicate with the people who live around us? An article from Alsintl say that besides English, the three most spoken languages in the U.S are; Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog.

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I’m sure most people don’t know how to speak all of those or even two, but what if we could?The Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that by 2022 the employment growth for translators and interpreters will be about 46 percent. We need to have more languages available to learn, so we can communicate better. Then maybe we wouldn’t need so many translators. Some people would argue that if kids don’t start learning other languages while they’re young, it’ll be too late. In a way that could be true. Starting English in elementary made it stick, so why don’t we teach other languages as well? My cousin started learning Spanish in the third grade.

He knows more than I do and I’m four years older! To me, my Spanish class isn’t too hard, but I know some other kids that are having a hard time picking up on it. If we started learning earlier, then maybe those kids wouldn’t be struggling as much. For the schools that do teach in the elementary, those students can learn more of the language throughout high school, or even start a new language. I am a freshman in high school and I am currently taking a Spanish class. Since our school doesn’t teach us when we are young, this is my first time learning. I’ve always wanted to learn French, German, or Italian in school but they don’t offer that here for us.

To me this is disappointing because we need to be more prepared for maybe a future job, or just to travel around. I know it is hard to find and pay teachers to teach different languages, especially if the school isn’t huge, but it would be nice to have some variety to choose from when learning foreign languages. I think it’s important to learn different languages such as Spanish because the population is obviously expanding, but we should be able to get more educated so we can communicate better. Also, I would enjoy learning languages such as German and Italian, but I’m not able to learn those well enough when we don’t have that opportunity in our school. Whether the school teaches these languages in elementary or high school, there should be more options available.

Since the world is becoming more diverse, we need to be more prepared and get better education with foreign languages.